- 1. Media Crisis - Use and Personal Prologue
- 2. Revised Introduction to Media Crisis
- 3. Role of American MAVM, Hollywood Monoform
- 4. European, Canadian, Scandinavian (etc.) MAVM
- 5. Media Education, Popular culture, Violence
- 6. Filmmakers, Festivals and the Repression
- 7. Role of the Global Justice Movement
- 8. Public-alternative Processes and Practices
- 9. Conclusion
- 10. Appendices
- 11. CNN - America's Pravda
2. Five Years Later - The Media Crisis - 2007 (French)
IN 2003, I completed the work on this website. It was subsequently translated into French by my son Patrick, and published as The Media Crisis by Alain Dichant of Homnispheres, in France. Alain is now releasing a new edition of The Media Crisis. The book, and this website, remain essentially unchanged at this time, but the crisis in the audiovisual media has worsened. Few, if any, of the problems I analysed have been addressed by the mass audiovisual media, and the related environmental threat, which I referred to in 2003, has become catastrophic. I hope in this revised introduction to clarify some of the worsening issues...
According to an article in the British press (The Guardian Weekly, Feb. 9-15, 2007), world scientists recently issued their strongest warning to date, that a failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions will bring devastating climate change within a few decades. The final report by an expert UN panel states that average temperatures will likely increase by 4C, and could increase by as much as 6.4C by the end of the century if emissions continue to rise. The forecast is higher than previously estimated, because scientists have discovered that the earth's land and ocean masses are becoming less able to absorb carbon dioxide.
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is written by hundreds of scientists across the world, and has been approved by all governments. It appears that human activity is largely to blame for this current state of affairs. The director of the UN Environment Programme said: “February 2007 may be remembered as the day the question mark was removed from whether people are to blame for climate change.”
This latest information from the media on the global environmental crisis does not, however, mention another crucial question mark - one which is also related to human activity, but which is never discussed publicly: the role of the mass audiovisual media in the current state of affairs.
Society at large still refuses to acknowledge the role of form and process in the delivery and reception of the mass audiovisual (MAVM) output. By this I mean that the language forms structuring the message contained in any film or TV programme, and the entire process (hierarchical or otherwise) of delivery to the public are completely overlooked, and are certainly not debated. In turn, this lack of critical public debate means that over 95% of all MAVM messages delivered to the public are now structured by the Monoform.
- the Monoform is the one single language form now used to edit and structure cinema films, TV programmes - newsbroadcasts, detective series, soap operas, comedy and ‘reality shows’, etc. - and most documentaries, almost all of which are encoded in the standardised and rigid form which had its nascence in the Hollywood cinema. The result is a language form wherein spatial fragmentation, repetitive time rhythms, constantly moving camera, rapid staccato editing, dense bombardment of sound, and lack of silence or reflective space, play a dominant and aggressive role.
- there is total silence within the ranks of the professional MAVM on the impact of this mono language on society in general, and on its relationship to the environmental crisis. The MAVM refuse to discuss this issue either in their films and TV programmes, or in any public debate.
- this silence is further reinforced by the reluctance (to put it mildly) of today’s educational systems to discuss the nature of the MAVM in critical or holistic terms, and especially to analyse the impact of the Monoform. It would even appear as if many of today’s media teachers are hardly aware of, or concerned with, this impact.
- the silence on the role of the MAVM is also maintained by most alternative political movements, associations, NGOs, etc. While sometimes acknowledging that the MAVM may be withholding information (e.g., on the arms race), or that it may, in general terms, have an impact on certain events (e.g., the war in Iraq), alternative movements do not usually hold the MAVM to holistic account for its overall impact on society, nor for its direct relationship to the environmental disaster.
- finally, the silence on the media crisis is sustained at, and by, most major international ‘public’ MAVM events such as film festivals, documentary film forums, and the escalating number of specialist TV festivals, trade fairs, and so-called ‘world congresses’. These events play a central role in the media crisis because they are structured in such a way as to preclude meaningful debate with the public, and instead, reinforce the mindless absorption of torrents of Monoform material. Major festivals pack as many as 200-300 films into 4-5 days of screenings, often obliging viewers to run to and from the sessions. Inserted into these events are authoritarian panel ‘discussions’ by experts, master classes with celebrity filmmakers, and pitching sessions. Rarely, however, are there any discussions with the public about the role of the MAVM in contemporary society - and never is there any mention of the Monoform.
These international events, mostly unknown to the public, more than anything else represent the global market forces industry that the MAVM have become.
For example, over 500 MAVM delegates from 20 countries travelled to Manchester, UK, for the 2006 World Congress of Science & Factual Producers. They included media executives and producers from ABC Inc., Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ARTE France, BBC, BBC Motion Gallery, BBC Scotland, BBC Worldwide, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Channel 4, Channel 4 International, Channel Five, Cineflix International Distribution, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Discovery Channel Canada, Discovery Communications, Discovery International, European Broadcasting Union, Exploration Production/CTV, France 5, Freemantle Media, German United Distributors, Granada, KCET, Media International Corporation, NDR-Norddeuthscher Rundfunk, National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channels International, National Geographic Specials, National Geographic Television, National Geographic Television International, NHK, NOVA WGBH, NRK, ProSieben Television, RDF Rights, RTBF, RTE-Ireland Public Service Broadcaster, RTI, RTI SpA, SBS Independent, Smithsonian Networks, Société Radio-Canada, Südwestrundfunk TV, SVT, Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, Swiss National Public TV, SWR TV, The History Channel, Thirteen/WNET New York, Twin Cities Public Television, UKTV, UR, VisionTV and S-VOX Company, VRT, VRT-Canvas, WDR, WGBH, WGBH International, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company, ZDF/German TV.... etc.
Other mega fests include The World Congress of [TV] History Producers, The World Congress of [TV] Arts Producers and Performance, the Banff [Canada] World Television Festival... etc. Thousands of media professionals gather at such events every year to decide on the nature of the latest output of the MAVM. It is here that the ideology of the consumer-based MAVM is concocted and prepared on a global scale, its formats and limitations agreed upon, programme priorities and narrative structures defined.
Events such as this give tangible expression to the repression within the MAVM, for it is here that the compromises are made. It is here that filmmakers subject themselves to the humilating process of ‘pitching’, and to a pathetic scramble for the privilege of lunching with a TV Commissioning Editor, in an attempt to sell their product (documentary films). It is here that the endless, breath-taking hype about creating a “TV of excellence”, and buzz words like “relevancy”, “out of the box thinking”, “cutting edge”, etc., abound.
Typical internet publicity for one such event included the following hype: “The Congress organizer's primary aim of offering cutting-edge programming and deeply informative panels, and also facilitating and promoting more face-to-face opportunities among delegates was also wholly met with elated response. A member-run event, a high spirit of collegiality marked the penetrating, insightful and sometimes contentious panels and debates.” Accompanied by a photo of rows of TV producers, executives, and commissioning editors listening to a speech, and the caption: “A record number of delegates – over 500! – pack the main conference room for the wildly successful opening plenary, What’s the Buzz?”. The publicity for this particular TV congress in the UK continued: “In addition to these important professional opportunities, the 2006 Congress boasted extraordinary social events throughout the city. Highlights included an opening reception at [...] ; special evening receptions hosted at the Imperial War Museum and [...] Chinese Restaurant; and a rousing night of karaoke (complete with drag hostesses) at an unforgettable Congress Idol competition...”.
Where, within all this, was the debate with the public concerning the role of the MAVM in today’s society? About the Monoform and its impact? Where the attempt to explore, encourage and forge alternative and more pluralistic forms of audiovisual communication?
In the words of a filmmaker participating in one of these TV fests, “knowing what's going on in the wider world” and “having everyone collected together”, are the important aspects of such events. Evidently this does not include the PUBLIC. The priority is relationships and contacts with other MAVM professionals, not with the PUBLIC. As one prominent documentary filmmaker remarked at a pitching session: “It's kind of like being in a club - if you're in the club you go to the annual meeting.” The “cutting edge” aspect of these club meetings apparently does not include reflection on the consequences of imposing the Monoform on the public without debate.
George Orwell said that if we cannot command the way we speak, we cannot command the way we think. We are now rapidly losing that capability, for we are losing the essence of the very language we use; and since language is an essential part of how we describe (and thus perceive) the world, the corruption within the MAVM is grave indeed. Take, for example, the word “excellence”. We once had an approximate idea of the meaning of this word. But that has disappeared - ‘excellence’, as used by the MAVM with reference to the TV programming to which they (pretend to) aspire, now has a superficial and hyped-up meaning (for the purposes of camouflage), and a hidden subtext.
The subterfuge becomes clearer if we consider what actually lies behind the MAVM concept of a “TV of excellence”. A key event at media fests is the pitching session, which has become so mandatory to the MAVM process that filmmakers are now actually being taught how to ‘pitch’! Pitching sessions allow filmmakers ten minutes (often less) in which to sell their programme ideas to a panel of commissioning editors - sometimes even in the form of a spectator sport, including with directors' sweating faces projected onto a large screen. This superficial and arbitrary process to a large degree now determines much of the contents of global TV programming. Orwell himself could not have done a better job of designing a process of decision-making which so befits the Monoform MAVM.
The Banff World Television Festival (“Where Great Television is Born”) advertises a coming event thus: “Once again, BANFF will stage its signature pitching sessions, offering valuable exposure to a wide audience of commissioning editors, producers, financial executives and other industry representatives. Selected finalists will have the rare opportunity to try to make their ideas become reality in a one-of-a-kind, career-making moment.”
The MAVM definition of ‘excellence’ - in reality a reactionary ideology where money, prestige, ambition and personal/corporate power rule to the exclusion of all else; a cynical and dishonest belief system, utterly inconsiderate of its disastrous impact on the future of our planet - is already being taken on (or taken in) by young people. This is one of the most frightening aspects of the media crisis: that the many young people who are inheriting this ideology are already passing it on as teachers to their students, and as media professionals, to the whole gamut of society at large.
At the most fundamental level, what MAVM professionals have accomplished over the past 20-30 years, is to effectively imbed into contemporary society a psychological ‘climate’ underpinning the consumer ideology. A climate wherein the subversion of language, and the relentless standardisation of how we perceive space, time, rhythm and process in human communications (both audiovisual and personal) are perceived as ‘normal’. In other words, the agenda of consumerism which saturates the MAVM’s output is reinforced at many subconscious levels by a hidden, hierarchical process - with its own subterranean social discourse which we appear unable (or unwilling) to identify or acknowledge.
This carefully inculcated climate - injected into our very psyches by the restless and fragmented language forms of the MAVM, and by the whole apparatus of the world commercial cinema - has led to seriously reduced attention spans; to a lack of tolerance for sustained process or for any form of communication that takes longer than ten seconds; to a growing loss of history (especially among young people); to an increased need for constant change. All of which has helped to shape a society visibly ever more privatised, insecure, and restless. A society where competitive thinking, egotism, personal gain, and an indifference to violence and suffering are increasingly the ‘norm’ - where genuine plurality and community interaction are vanishing into the past.
To its eternal shame, much of the media education system (from the primary to the tertiary level) has either cynically, or by default, supported the emergence of this climate and its direct link to the ethos of globalisation, by systematically eliminating the critical forms of media pedagogy which existed in the 1960s and early 1970s, and by substituting a slavish adoption of the media popular culture. In the book, I describe how professional media training systematically indoctrinates young media professionals in the practice of the Monoform, and in forging an entirely hierarchical relationship with the public. Universities, teacher training colleges, film and TV schools with state-of-the-art studio facilities adhere totally to this practice, and dedicate their time to training young people in the art of mass manipulation.
But what about the opposition? Surely there are young people who oppose this trend in society, and who challenge the MAVM? Surely there are filmmakers, teachers, and others who struggle for other values in their work and personal lives? Of course there are! I never hear from official representatives in my profession - they ceased long ago to respond to my appeals for a critical analysis of and by the MAVM. But I do receive e-mails from people around the world, including teachers, young filmmakers and students, who are concerned about these same issues, and who often express frustration at the world crisis in very strong terms.
Furthermore, now, as in the past, there are filmmakers - both feature and documentary - who do work in complex and alternative ways with the audiovisual media. These alternative language forms mostly come from creative imperatives, from the need to break away from the strait-jacket of the ‘official’ MAVM/Hollywood form. But sometimes, filmmakers are also impelled by their awareness of the undemocratic impact of the Monoform. In either case, these alternative language forms - usually marginalized by the mainstream media, or at best relegated to the festival and art-house circuit - are extremely important, for they bear witness to the fluid nature of the audiovisual media, to the possibility of breaking away from the Monoform in order to work with sound and images in ways which give space to the audience, and which allow for greater interactivity and complexity of interpretation. And which, at the same time, reduce the barrage of disruptive editing, aggressive camera movement, fragmented process of reception, etc., that characterizes the Monoform. They show us, in fact, how the MAVM in general could have developed (indeed existed for the past 30-40 years), and they lead us to speculate about potential alternative and more positive consequences on the entire social process, and by extension, on the planet and its environment. But.. back to the situation at hand...
Is documentary filmmaking being compromised as a result of the media crisis? Of course it is! Most documentary films - especially those made for TV - are now so uniformly formatted that it's difficult to tell them apart. One of the most striking aspects of the Monoform - along with the sheer mass of audiovisual material flooding out from cinema, TV, computer and mobile phone screens - is its ability to blur a/v messages, to meld individual subjects and concerns into one amorphous mass. It is this effect that undermines our sense of priority and personal involvement with global issues, and our ability to place events within a meaningful and holistic context. The fact that the greatest potential disaster of our lifetime has developed under our very noses, as we've sat on our couches being ‘served’ by the MAVM, is a indication of the efficacy of this system. We sat there losing the ability to tell the difference...
In an attempt to differentiate their work, a number of filmmakers are even elevating their own assault on the audience. A study of recent documentaries (The Corporation, Supersize Me, Michael Moore's films, others critical of George Bush and the Iraq War, etc.) reveals a style and pattern wherein the personality of the filmmaker is often as important as the subject of the film itself. And once again, the audience encounters a tornado of rapid editing; fragmented talking heads; twisting and cork-screwing camera work; clever digitized animation; and a theatrical in-your-face disrespect for the nearest corporate figures. All of which is heralded as cutting edge, radical and relevant - but which in fact barely masks a disingenuous and authoritarian relationship to the audience. Some of these films even claim to be critical of the media - but not only is their own language form centralised and hierarchical (a double-irony in the case of Manufacturing Consent, which features Naom Chomsky), they also never actually critique the form and process of the MAVM (including in their own films).
Professionals within the MAVM might challenge my apparent intolerance for the Monoform, claiming that I lack an understanding of the ‘nuances’ of the role of the MAVM in our society. As I write in the book, I am perfectly aware that the MAVM has - on occasion - produced interesting and significant films using the Monoform. But the problem is not only within the structure of the Monoform itself (at least when used in moderation), since it is just one filmic language-form amongst many other possibilities; the crisis arises when this language-form is applied in a repressive, all-consuming, undebated and mandatory manner, and when we centralise the production and reception of nearly all audiovisual media around this one closed and rigid form.
As for my lack of comprehension re nuances, I must confess that I find very few subtleties in the global media crisis - no more, in fact, than in the environmental catastrophe facing us. Again, there are exceptions in the professional ranks - people and places struggling for change, but these are visibly in the minority. The reality is that the overall majority of MAVM professionals today either perpetrate the worst of the MAVM practices described here, or bow their heads in acquiescence.
A most disturbing element in the crisis is the silence of media professionals towards the repression in their (our) midst. Given their frequent reference to ‘freedom of expression’, one might hope that filmmakers and TV producers would have shared a common concern about the restrictions on their creative language. Unfortunately this is not the case. The zeal with which many audiovisual professionals participate in pitching, and in honing their skills for this harmful process, indicates the level of - what? - self-deception, complicity, compromise, even corruption in today’s MAVM.
Whether the media crisis has been brought about by the lack of a genuine professionalism among most of today’s producers of the MAVM, or whether it arose as a result of fear, insecurity and other human factors, does not alter the price it has exacted on our society. The endless stream of narrow and dumbed-down material which the public is fed, and the repression of critical voices, is the worst to date in the history of the mass audiovisual media. The McCarthy era was blatant in its repression - today, media fests and TV spin artists attempt and apparently succeed in camouflaging the crisis with an entire Potemkin Village of buzz-words.
Another such buzz-word, and a factor ultimately supporting the repression, is the notion of ‘objectivity’. Over the decades, the MAVM, including the press and media teachers, have assiduously developed the mythology that TV newsbroadcasts and documentaries, as well as articles and reports in the print media, are ‘objective’ and ‘factual’ - ‘the truth’ even. As a young trainee-producer, I recall being taught by a senior BBC official that our duty was to never express or reveal our own feelings in our work, as this would be a violation of our role as ‘impartial’ broadcasters. Then, as now, there was no question regarding the unattainability of such a professional code - especially given both the hierarchical position of the MAVM in society, and the manipulative and decidedly non-objective nature of the Monoform.
That the American MAVM were decidedly subjective, submissive and partial in their cheer-leader coverage of President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq is one example of thousands of flagrant infringements by the MAVM of their own code of ethics. The fact that this code is deceptive, and used only to sustain the power (a key word) and persuasiveness of the MAVM, does not excuse the obscene hypocrisy of major violations that the coverage of the attack on Iraq represents. Some may argue that the imperatives of objectivity are no longer seen as valid even by the MAVM. This is partly but not entirely true, and other criteria - ‘accuracy’, ‘fairness’, ‘balance’ - still remain anchored in the official guidelines. These notions are also total contradictions, because they never take into account the role of the language form used by the MAVM, or its undemocratic process regarding the public.
Filmmakers may claim that a blanket use of the Monoform is not a problem, since what matter are the subject and message of their films, not the manner of their making. I, for one, find it inconceivable that anyone who uses an audiovisual medium to communicate a message could think that his/her manner of organizing, editing, structuring and formatting material has no bearing on how the message is received! Or that there should be so little concern among professionals that they all do this in the same way! Can one possibly imagine sculptors, painters, composers or authors agreeing to organize the form and presentation of their work in a uniform manner? Of course global standardisation and commercial pressure are affecting these other forms of expression and communication as well, but there is still an immense difference between what is happening in the plastic arts, literature, music and theatre - and today’s crisis in the MAVM.
Let's not forget the economic aspect here. The Banff World TV Festival claims that in 2006 it was responsible for $720 million CAD worth of TV production deals. In a world where half the population live on less than two dollars a day, the energy (and pollution) the MAVM expend in raising - and largely wasting - this vast amount of capital is little short of obscene.
A Canadian newspaper noted the economic failure of two Hollywood films (“tanked” was the expression used), and described them as costing a total of $215 million USD to produce, and grossing “only” $75 million at the box-office. Consider what a total of nearly $300 million spent on producing and watching two strips of celluloid could achieve in a world where countless people die of AIDS or malaria each year because they cannot afford the necessary drugs.
What do we do in our mind's-eye with the 2002 record figure of $9 billion USD worth of box-office sales? Even if we apply the conservative definition of billion (and reduce the number of zeroes), it stills means that we are spending well over two and a half million dollars a day on our current audiovisual fix (this probably includes only Hollywood cinema, not the Bollywood variants of Asia and Latin America).
The sad reality is that part of the media crisis is the result of a distinctly human activity, in that, regardless of our politics, most of us enjoy the fruits of Hollywood, and have a subconscious reluctance to challenge a taken-for-granted source of pleasure and relaxation. Many cinephiles - while, for example, adopting a critical position to the role of George Bush and American TV in fermenting the attack on Iraq - would refuse to consider holistically the predominant role of the cinema in similar terms, for this would seem nothing less than blasphemy.
This brief overview of the result of a lack of debate concerning the global MAVM would not be complete without referring to alternative media movements and their relationship to the media crisis. Unfortunately, most alternative media activists and liberal progressives often seem bored stiff at the mention of the problem of standardisation within the media, or the possibility of the public playing a direct role in the creation of what is currently known as ‘the mass audiovisual media’.
Today the word ‘crisis’, if used by media activists and independent filmmakers, usually applies to the traditional ‘political’ issues of corporate media ownership, role of multi-nationals, and freedom of journalistic expression. But these important issues have validity only if they are integrated into the broader aspects - otherwise they leave unanswered the central questions of the role of the MAVM in the environmental crisis, and the decline of human rights in Western society. Many of today’s filmmakers and media activists appear to have made their decisions on these issues - without reference to the public, and in a direction which keeps their new, ‘revolutionary’, media frantically hopping with fragmented, pacey editing, and all of the other structural problems inherent in the Monoform. Most notable in this limited agenda is the contrast between the concern for the freedom of expression of ‘alternative’ journalists, and the lack of it for the public. The realignment of the hierarchical order being called for by the activists, appears - once again - to exclude the community.
Thus, at every level, we continue to avoid any holistic debate on the role of the audiovisual media in today’s society. Realistically speaking, any audiovisual material - no matter what its language form, no matter who its director, no matter how intellectual its theme - is linked to the media crisis by the process it uses towards the public, and by every element of its language form. Can, for example, one say that a zoom shot used in an ‘art film’ is less impactful on the audience than one used in the most aggressive and manipulative piece of TV advertising? What does impact mean in this context? Are we in charge of the language form we use, or is it now in charge of us? After 30-40 years of repetitive zoom shots (and many other elements of the Monoform), could one not say that, as in osmosis, its effect may have caused an impact which transcends the one that we hoped for in our individual message?
How can we be sure that the impact of structure or form itself does not take charge, and divert or subvert the meaning of our message? The degree of the relationship between all forms and genres of audiovisual media, and the environmental crisis, and the growing collapse of civil liberties (and all other aspects of our planet's demise), and the extent to which various language forms are more or less pluralistic than others, etc., are part of the urgent debate we still refuse to become involved in.
While I am optimistic that it is still within our power to challenge the media crisis, I am pessimistic that we will do so in time. I am left with an anxious feeling that our current achievements - including with the proliferation of portable video cameras, mobile phones, internet, etc. (i.e., the new face of the MAVM) - have placed us within a social (and political) climate wherein the development of ever-smarter technology has not diversified the creation of the MAVM. On the contrary, it is hooking us ever deeper into a world of audiovisual overload, where the frisson (and personal power) of using this technology to show or express oneself has completely transcended any debate on what this means, let alone any discussion regarding the problems inherent in the language forms we use to structure the messages we wish to express.
Could diversity in technology help us to develop a non-standardised media? CHANGE IS GOOD! flashes a large ad high on a building in downtown Toronto. The problem is that the diversity touted by the MAVM (of which advertising is an integral and major part) is not - of course - intended as such. The ‘change’ referred to here is the constantly shifting, fragmenting gaze of the Monoform, which ensures that we never have adequate time to reflect or think critically - only time to swallow the message to buy something else. But as ecologists and others already know, growing numbers of the world's species are now under direct threat of extinction as a consequence of the thoughtless consumerism urged by this flashing sign. And genuine diversity - of ideas, of critical debate, of community action for reform - has never been more desperately needed.
Given that this introduction to The Media Crisis refers to what has developed (and deteriorated) over the past five or so years, where are we now in terms of possible corrective action? I would like to recommend that you do not leave this website without reading the final chapter: The public - alternative processes and practices. If we could somehow develop the idea that the public can and should play a greater role in deciding and creating what they (we) see via the audiovisual media, we will have taken a major step forward. Central to this proposal is the concept that the ideas and initiatives of the public, if absorbed into the creation of the audiovisual media, would help break down many of the existing hierarchical forms and practices of the MAVM.
In terms of practical actions to possibly challenge the media crisis, I would like to end with 3 proposals. The first involves an in-depth analysis of the TV news - which I detail in the final chapter. This exercise can be carried out in any educational institution or community, or preferably a combination thereof. I would encourage any group undertaking this kind of analysis to involve media teachers and filmmakers - not as mentors, but as colleagues in the quest for change. It is likely that filmmakers and teachers will themselves be challenged in the process - for this is the nature of establishing new relationships. A project such as this can be the starting point and impetus for change and reform at the community level, both in broadcasting and media education. Regarding the latter, I would propose that community groups demand that their various local and national education authorities implement a system of genuinely critical and holistic media education. Failing this, I would urge the creation of ad hoc universities or schools in people’s homes. The existing overt commercialisation of the media and education sectors must not be allowed to prevent people from acquiring alternative knowledge, particularly when the future of the planet is at stake.
Secondly, I would encourage those within the MAVM - including documentary filmmakers - to address the questions of length, space, structure and rhythm in the form of their own work, and of pluralism in the process of their relationship to the public. Our truncated and fragmented messages can be expanded and extended into slower, longer, less aggressive and more complex rhythms and structures which allow the public to ‘enter’ the material, to reflect, to form alternative and critical interpretations, etc.
Finally, I propose that we consider these issues and alternative proposals as belonging to the realm of human rights and civil liberties. This question is addressed in Appendix 11 in this website. Actions directed towards constitutional change could provide the public with genuine and democratic choice - in this case, the choice to access either the Monoform MAVM, or alternative and participatory forms of audiovisual media and critical, holistic forms of media education. That (as far as I know) no country in the world includes these provisions in its Constitution indicates the severity of the media crisis, and the journey we need to make.
My hope is that this website can play a part in redressing these problems. Please keep in mind that nearly five years have elapsed between writing the main contents of the website, and this new introduction.
Vilnius, Lithuania, 2007